So our friend Peter Smagorinsky wrote a piece for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, (linked here) reminding people of the long observed fact that a large majority of people view their own local school as fairly good. But the same survey respondents see education as a failure overall. This, he points out, comes from the picture painted by the “accountability movement” and the media. Peter sees this contradiction as an “imaging problem.” Peter then focuses on the mistaken, counter-productive steps and positions being taken by these “reformers.”
We’d like to take this argument in a different direction, namely: how do we fix this imaging problem? The reformers will keep up their drumbeat. We believe it must be countered by the teachers who are the true reformers, who are doing great things in their classrooms. When enough of us, along with supportive parents and community members, speak out to describe those powerful moments of learning that we see, then we’ll begin solving the imaging problem of public education.
PS: Be sure to read the deluge of comments following Peter’s article. While some disagree with him, many testify to the great, hard-working teachers they’ve appreciated.